Showing respect for cyclists

How to treat cyclists on the roads in and around Golden.

Dear Editor,

I’ve seen items about how cyclists should mind the road, but few on how drivers should respect cyclists.  The Johnston-Meier column is one that comes to mind.

Over a holiday weekend, I again saw a potentially dangerous situation because a car driver did not respect the law of the road.   At the stoplight on Highway 97, a driver waved a cyclist turning left to go ahead.  If I understand the law correctly, a bicycle is a vehicle and must obey traffic laws accordingly.  If that cyclist had turned in front of that car, and others that were behind and beside, he would have been responsible for any violations or accidents that might have happened.  As was appropriate, the cyclist insisted on waiting until traffic proceeded and it was clear for him to turn.

Twice I have been astride my bicycle at a stop sign on ninth street and cars stopped to wave me into traffic.  I understand the desire to be polite and helpful, but it is illegal and dangerous.  I have not done it, but feel like walking the bike to the car and informing the driver how dangerous this is.  Yes, I do understand the exceptions with children and school zones, though they too need to be made aware of the rules of the road.

Because of safety concerns, I have decided to cycle mid-lane in certain circumstances.  When crossing the bridge, I now ride mid-lane because traffic just can’t seem to be patient on that few feet of road.  A logging truck was the last straw, and I will probably appear a nuisance, but until we get designated bike lanes on the bridge…(the east sidewalk might as well be a bike lane)…

Also, while turning right at the above stoplight, a pickup turning right almost grazed me with its side mirror, so I now protect myself by sitting mid-lane, or walking the bike around the corner.  There’s either a lack of knowledge of the law and dangers, or a lack of respect.  The best respect for a cyclist is to expect him to obey the traffic laws, as we expect other vehicles to do.

Ron Tabbert

Golden

 

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